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“Wonderful hotel in the Vieux Carré!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Soniat House

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Soniat House
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1133 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA 70116 (French Quarter)   |  
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Ranked #56 of 154 Hotels in New Orleans
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Wonderful hotel in the Vieux Carré!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2009

The Soniat House is a small and beautfiful, privately owned hotel. The location is superb; the hotel is cosy and nice; the staff and the service is excellent! With this said... it is obvious that the former splendour of this hotel is not there anymore. It seems to be a bit on decay (paint falling of the walls, bathrooms etc). Does this mean it is bad? Definitely not! If you want something in the French Quarter; if you want it to be nice, cosy and romantic; yes, then this is the place. If you want to stay in a hotel were the staff will take care of your smallest wish; if you do not like one of the big chain hotels; if you can put up with some decay; yes, then this is the place for you. This hotel is rather like a grand old lady... It is still grand, but there are flaws...

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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206 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Illinois
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2009

We stayed at Soniat House for 2 nights in late January. We had reserved a "Deluxe" room and were puzzled when we were led through a dark courtyard to a very small, musty room. After our luggage was dropped off we thought we should start looking for another hotel based on the mustiness and age of the linens. Moments later, the front desk person arrived to tell us we had be put in the wrong room. We were then moved upstairs to yet another small musty room. I couldn't believe this could be considered a luxury property! My husband went down to the front desk and asked them if they were sure we were in the correct room and explained the mustiness. We were given an option of two other rooms which were actually in the "main house" of the inn. Both were considerably nicer than the previous two rooms. It was obvious that these rooms were in the luxury portion of the hotel and featured on the hotel's rather misleading website.
The hotel has five classes of rooms: Superior (dark, small, and musty), Premier (musty and in need of refurbishment, Deluxe (which we had reserved but took 3 tries to get), Junior Suite, and Grand Suite. The staff was very accomodating in moving us but, I have to wonder if we hadn't said something if we would have been staying in a small musty room but paying for a room at a luxury price.

Soniat House isn't really a luxury hotel unless you stay in the top tier of rooms and even then there aren't many of the amenties one would expect. For instance, we had to ask for an ironing board.

The one reason to stay there is their excellent location in the French Quarter. You can walk everywhere: 5 minutes to Jackson square, 5 minutes to Bourbon. Its located on a quiet street next to a Convent.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manhattan
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2009

Pros:
-great location
-delicious biscuits made to order
-beautiful courtyard
-some very nice staff members

Cons:
-rooms in dire need of updating (may not apply to all, but certainly did to ours and from other reviews there seems to be several rooms in this category) dirty carpet, ancient bathrooms, musty feel
-very poorly lit overall, especially the common areas
-some bitter staff members who put on a smile, but it's obvious they don't like their job

Major Con:
-Massive Cockroach in our room!!! The incident was not dealt with properly either. We did not ask for money back or make a stink, just threw our things together and checked out as soon as humanly possible. Never once got an, "I'm sorry." and the woman actually, said, "Well, you're in New Orleans." Great way to persuade us to come back.

If you're going to mind the positive reviews, it makes no difference to me obviously, but I would definitely recommend fumigating your belongs upon your return home...unless you don't mind living with large cockroaches from down south.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laurel, Mississippi
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2009

The Soniat House was pretty, and the bed was comfortable. The lighting in the room was poor, particularly in the bathroom where I could not see into the mirror well enough to put on makeup. The bathroom lighting really needs beefing up.
The hotel is nice, and it was very clean and smelled clean. I've stayed at several hotels in New Orleans, and the smell of mustiness can be a problem even in a top hotel. This had only the faintest of musty smells.
Overall, I don't think this is worth what they charge for a room. It is much more expensive than other hotels in the area, and it is not that much nicer. I would probably stay somewhere else next time.
The staff members were all excellent and helpful and gracious.

Coffee and breakfast are only available in the room. We ordered coffee the night before to be delivered at 7:15 the next morning, and it was on time to the second. That was great.

  • Liked — It was very quiet.
  • Disliked — The lighting was poor.
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2008

We stayed at the Soniat House for 2 separate nights, a week apart. Our first night's stay was better than the second. The staff was friendly and very helpful, and the hotel's ambiance was exactly what we had hoped for. The room we were assigned was small but very nice, although the hot water ran out in the middle of the first shower. The mistake we made was choosing to have their breakfast. For 25.00, the 2 of us received 5 biscuits, jam, orange juice, and coffee. We are from South Louisiana, and love strong coffee. But there was not enough hot milk provided to make more than 2 cups of this thick coffee into cafe au lait.

For our second stay, we were assigned a much less appealing room in the back of the hotel. It was large, but smelled musty and needed redecorating. The cost was over 300.00 after New Orleans taxes were applied. This room was at the top of their rate system for a single room, but clearly not worth the price. Needless to say, we did not have the breakfast.

In summary, I would rate this hotel high on customer service and ambiance, but low in other areas. The experience of entering the doors off a residential street into the typical New Orleans courtyard was great, but even the "top quality" rooms vary in appeal. Skip the breakfast and walk to the French Market for a better experience.

  • Liked — Ambiance, Friendly and helpful staff
  • Disliked — Sub-par rooms for the price, Disappointing breakfast
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2008

My husband and I stayed here for 2 nights to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We had a lovely suite in the main building (I believe it was room 28). The best part about this suite is the huge, private balcony on the second floor overlooking Chartres street. Our suite had 3 floor to ceiling double hung windows, which were raised to walk directly on to the balacony. Balcony was furnished with 3-4 chairs and a table, and we had our coffee and breakfast here both mornings. The balcony for this room is covered, so I was even able to sit out and read my book during a brief rainstorm. The only downside to this room was the bathroom - which was fine, but not updated (probably circa 1980s). This must be one of the few suites without a jacuzzi, but we did not complain as we were upgraded from a junior suite. All in all, the spacious balcony more than made up for the bathroom.

The room itself was quite large and furnished with antiques. There was a long hallway with chandelier leading from the suite door to the bedroom and living room. It was quiet and we loved the old New Orleans character of the building. This is a very old building, with winding spiral staircases and period french doors - do not expect triple-glazed windows and plush carpets. If you are looking for a real New Orleans experience with wide plank antique floors, original glass french doors, etc. - this is the place for you! It is in a quiet residential area of the French Quarter - peaceful for sleeping but only a 5 minute walk to antique shops, restaurants, etc. We were told that the home across Chartres on the corner belongs to Angelina and Brad. Not sure if this is true, but the home was shuttered tight the day we arrived and stayed that way until Saturday afternoon (the day before Brad's new movie premiered in NO), when the second floor shutters were opened and there were signs of life.....go figure!

  • Liked — balcony
  • Disliked — bathroom
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Orlando, FL
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2008

I really did my research before traveling to NO because of the city's reputation to be seedy. This hotel was everything it said it was online and more. The hotel was beautiful, quaint, understated....considered to be a small, luxury hotel. I am writing this review while sipping wine on the lovely lacey wrought iron hotel balcony and listening to the slow trot of horse drawn carriages coming up the street. In the distance you can also hear the muted sounds of rivership horns on the Mississippi. This is not the Marriott though....you will not be able to get room service at midnight. But for those of us looking for atmosphere, this is the place to stay. It is located in the lower Riverside part of the French Quarter....inside the quarter but not too close to Bourbon Street. Our room was across the street from the main hotel building along side a very serene inside garden courtyard. At night small tealight candles light the way through both courtyards in the main building and across the street. Both properties lock with a key to an iron fence door along the street but we always felt safe within both buildings. The staff was extremely accommodating and friendly. There is a lovely warm biscuit breakfast served to your room on a silver tray. Yes, this is the only breakfast option, but who wants to eat every morning in the same place while your on vacation? Especially in NO where there is such a wide variety of food. The hotel also has a sitting room with an honor bar where you can get bottled water before you go out to tour or get an afternoon cocktail. We did a lot of walking while we were here but we didn't mind a short walk to here or there. We took the street car to the Garden District which was rather far from here. The homes in the garden district were grand and incredibly beautiful and definitely worth the trip. But the shopping and dining I found to be a bit too eclectic for this stunning neighborhood. The dining was too BBQ and picnic tables for the area, I thought. This was our first time in NO. We knew Bourbon St. was going to be tacky but yikes!!!! I guess it would have been fun about twenty years ago when I was a college kid but at middle age it was kind of scary! I was expecting Key West but instead we found Sodom and Gemora......Here again....yikes! But the Soniat had the lovely old fashioned southern charm I was looking for in NO.

Stayed October 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Soniat House

Address: 1133 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA 70116
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Louisiana > New Orleans > French Quarter
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#49 Business Hotel in New Orleans
#52 Romantic Hotel in New Orleans
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Soniat House 3.5*
Number of rooms: 33
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Soniat House Hotel New Orleans
Soniat Hotel New Orleans

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